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Wind power to reach 47 gigawatts in 2014 – G.W.E.C.

Wind power to reach 47 gigawatts in 2014 – G.W.E.C.

The wind market is expected to reach installations of at least 47 gigawatts in 2...

Floating tidal current turbines to be installed in Canadian waters

Floating tidal current turbines to be installed in Canadian waters

Siemens business Marine Current Turbines Ltd., Bluewater Energy Services B.V., a...

Smog causes partial car ban in Paris – But is the Diesel Industry to blame?

Smog causes partial car ban in Paris – But is the Diesel Industry to blame?

There’s a choking, Beijingian smog hanging over Parisian skies. Warm, still cond...

Climate change is happening, affecting all areas of the globe – I.P.C.C.

Climate change is happening, affecting all areas of the globe – I.P.C.C.

The effect of climate change is already being felt worldwide, according the Inte...

Hong Kong extends its registration tax exemption for E.V.s

Hong Kong extends its registration tax exemption for E.V.s

Hong Kong has passed a resolution that will extend its first registration tax ex...

Make a green choice by purchasing eco-clothing for your kids

Make a green choice by purchasing eco-clothing for your kids

There are several benefits of organic kid’s clothing. As people are becoming env...

Restoring the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay

Restoring the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is America’s largest estuary, which is a body of water that l...

Business

Smog causes partial car ban in Paris – But is the Diesel Industry to blame?

Smog causes partial car ban in Paris – But is the Diesel Industry to blame?

Monday, 07 April 2014

There’s a choking, Beijingian smog hanging over Parisian skies. Warm, still conditions have caused car fumes and chemicals to collect above the city a...

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Technology

Politics

More time needed for a decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

More time needed for a decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The United States Department of State will be extending its decision-making period on the submission of their views on the proposed Keystone Pipeline ...

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Living Green

Good cooperation between animals and humans can save the environment

Good cooperation between animals and humans can save the environment

Monday, 21 April 2014

Even though humans are regarded as the most intelligent beings of the lot, recent researches show that, without the help of some particular animals, i...

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Renewables

Low-Carbon

Five best green construction companies

Five best green construction companies

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

In this contemporary world, technological advancements and concerns about environmental conservation have given rise to the establishment of many gree...

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Opinion

Restoring the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay

Restoring the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Chesapeake Bay is America’s largest estuary, which is a body of water that links rivers to the sea and acts as a bridge between freshwater and sal...

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Researchers look into bacteria-powered water desalination process


Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering (right) and Maha Mehanna, postdoctoral fellow (left) are already at work on the next generation of microbial
desalination cells based on using air cathodes.
Image Courtesy of Penn State Live

A team of researchers from China and the US say bacteria that occur in wastewater can actually be used to produce energy needed in water desalination.

Researchers from the Penn State University and Tsinghua University in Beijing are working on “microbial fuel cells.” In this device, naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume organic material, producing electricity.

The microbial desalination cell first cleans water by removing organic material from it. This process produces electricity which can then be used to desalinate water so that it can be safe for drinking.

Currently, it takes a lot of electricity to desalinate water, which is accomplished in many locations using a process called reverse osmosis, one that pushes water under high pressure through membranes that allow water to pass but not salt.

The researchers, however, admit that the system still has to be improved. In their tests, it took 200 milliliters of artificial wastewater containing acetic acid to desalinate just 3 milliliters of salty water. Another concern is that bacteria that run the cell might have a problem living in highly acidic environments, which happens in the cell as protons work their way from one electrode to another.

“This is not a practical system yet as it is not optimized, but it is proof of concept," Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering at Penn State, said.

The study was reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. It was supported by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


- Katrice R. Jalbuena



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Reference:

1 http://live.psu.edu/story/40817

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